New Zealand motocross ace Roma Edwards has been coached by one of the best and now she’s put those lessons into action by taking on and beating some of the best in Australia.

The 16-year-old from Motueka has regularly been coached by Kiwi former Grand Prix motocross star Josh Coppins and this year decided she was ready to tackle the senior Australian Women’s Motocross Championships at Murray Bridge, South Australia, the host city located about 75 kilometres east-southeast of the state’s capital city, Adelaide.

As a year 12 correspondence school pupil, it allowed her the freedom to travel overseas to race, although she also knew that the competition would be tough.

“I wanted to get a feel for where I was at. Josh Coppins helped organise a Yamaha YZ125 for me through WBR racing and Dad came with me, armed with a pit board and a handful of tools that he could carry on the plane. I had a massive over-the-handlebars crash in practice and luckily I was only bruised. I got seventh place in the first points race by riding carefully. I then managed a fifth, sixth and fifth, giving me a sixth placing overall for the two rounds. Whilst in Australia, I also raced a qualifier round for the King of MX in Leeston and topped the podium with an overall win. Just last weekend, Dad and I went back to Australia, to Nowra in New South Wales, to race against the top women in Australia,” she said, with at least three of those lining up alongside her in Australia possessing vast international experience, these women having recently raced on the world championships scene in Europe. 

“I did a bit more preparation, riding a few different tracks on our way there. I managed to improve my overall to a fourth place in the State Titles at the King of MX,” she said, finishing behind Australian internationals Meg Rutledge, Jess Moore, and Emma Milsevich. “I am really happy with how I’m riding and confident that I can continue on my YZ125 against the more powerful 250cc bikes. I am back home now to work on losing a few more seconds off my lap times and catch up on some school work, but it has been an awesome experience.”

Moore visited New Zealand in September last year, winning the senior national women’s title while she was here. Edwards won the junior women’s, 12-16 years’, 125cc/250cc class title at that same event near Timaru.

Motueka’s Roma Edwards (Yamaha YZ125), tasting success across the Tasman Sea.

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan

Husqvarna have unveiled their range of Enduro bikes for 2020, with developments to chassis, suspension, and engines in the TE and FE range to further improve upon their reputation as one of the top manufacturers.

Aimed at delivering exceptional levels of performance, class-leading power throughout the range, and equipped with updated WP suspension, all of the 2020 models feature updated ergonomics to go with their progressive designs. New chassis technology is the base for a complete redesign, allowing for new shock linkages, updated bodywork, improved fork and shock settings, and premium components to be used as standard.

2020 Husqvarna TE 300i

The new 2020 range continues the brand’s approach to innovation, with the biggest feature across all the new bikes being the hydroformed, laser-cut, robot-welded chassis’, and composite carbon fiber subframes. Along with the extra torsional strength the frames provide, they remain extremely lightweight. New aluminium cylinder head mountings improve handling, added to the updated 48mm WP XPLOR front forks and WP XACT rear shock offering full adjustability, with more consistent damping and better resistance to bottom-out. The forks are split duty, with one side offering damping control and the other providing rebound. The new rear shock linkage system offers reduced seat height, better traction, and improved stability, meaning riding over technical terrain has never been easier.

2020 Husqvarna TE 150i

The all-new TE 150i features TPI fuel injection, adapted from the TE 250i and TE 300i, sharing the same proven 2-stroke technology. Providing all the convenience and simplicity of a modern 4-stroke at a fraction of the weight, the TPI system eliminates the need for re-jetting for ambient changes, as well as including a pump-driven oil mixing system, meaning riders no longer need to worry about premixing fuel. The TE 150i also includes an electric starter, for added ease of use. Combining a nimble, lightweight chassis with a compact and powerful engine, the TE 150i delivers maximum performance.

2020 Husqvarna FE 350

Both the TE 250i and TE 300i benefit from updated cylinder design, for superior 2-stroke performance, as well as a 1-degree lower engine mounting for improved front-end traction. The entire 4-stroke range features extensive upgrades as well, for increased performance and rideability. The FE 450 and FE 501 both receive new cylinder heads, and the FE 250 and FE 350 both receive extensive revisions, similar to their 2-stroke brethren. The entire Enduro range also features new exhaust systems, for optimal performance and durability.

2020 Husqvarna TE 300i

The entire range features new distinctive slimmed down bodywork and bold new graphics, showcasing Husqvarna’s attention to detail and pioneering design direction.

What’s New For 2020:

  • New frame on all models offering increased longitudinal & torsional rigidity
  • TE 150i featuring electronic fuel injection
  • New 250g lighter 2-piece subframe across the model range
  • Updated WP XPLOR fork with new mid-valve piston & setting
  • Updated WP XACT shock with new main piston & setting
  • New shock linkage dimension providing reduced seat height & added control
  • All-new exhaust systems for optimal performance & durability
  • New seat that places rider 10mm closer to the ground
  • Improved cooling circuit with radiators placed 12mm lower
  • Progressive new bodywork design offering new and improved ergonomics
  • Updated 4-stroke engines offering improved performance & rideability
  • 1° lower mounting on TE 250i/300i engines for improved front end traction
  • Updated TE 250i/300i cylinder for superior 2-stroke performance

Photos: Husqvarna Motorcycles Press

The ninth round of the 2019 MXGP world championships takes place this weekend in Kegums, Latvia, where Team HRC’s Tim Gajser will be displaying the red plate on his Honda CRF450RW. The Slovenian rider has won the last three overalls, reeling off six consecutive race wins and now holds a 13 point lead as the series heads to the midway point of the season. Teammate Brian Bogers will also head into the weekend hoping that the sandy Kegums track will give him a chance to show his best form.

For Gajser, the red plate is just reward for this tremendous run of form that has seen a 53 point swing in the championship battle after coming back from a 40 point deficit following the MXGP of Lombardia. After those muddy conditions, the sun has been shining and Gajser has shown his best form since his Championship-winning season in 2016. The hard-pack tracks have suited Gajser’s smooth style and he’ll now be hoping that the large amount of sand training he did over the winter will help him maintain the lead in what should be another glorious weekend of racing.

After growing up near Valkenswaard in the Netherlands, Bogers is very comfortable in the sand and this ninth round in Latvia is a perfect chance for him to put in a solid performance and work towards his goal of two top 10 finishes. In a class that is filled with GP race winners, this year has been challenging for Bogers to jump into, after missing almost all of the 2018 season through injury but this weekend represents a great opportunity to put in a similar result, like he achieved in Mantova when he got a second place in the second moto.

While his recovery is going well from the operation to clean up the infection in his right ankle, Calvin Vlaanderen will unfortunately once again be missing from the MX2 class at the weekend. After consulting with the doctor it was deemed best to give Vlaanderen as much recovery time as possible to reduce the chances of re-infecting the area. This is disappointing news to everyone who wants to see the #10 CRF250RW out on the track, but everyone is confident that when he does return he will be 100% healthy and properly prepared to race in this highly competitive MX2 division.

In round nine of their series’ this weekend, the MXGP and MX2 riders are joined by the EMX250 and EMX2t classes with the first Team HRC bike hitting the track at 13:00 local time on Saturday 15th June for MXGP free practice. The first gate drop for the main races then happens at 14:15 on Sunday 16th June.

Tim Gajser  243

It was a tough trip back from Russia with the flights, but when you come back with the red plate, everything is okay! However it is definitely almost unbelievable to have gone one-one again this weekend. The track was pretty sketchy to ride on because it was very fast and not a lot of ruts formed, which meant it was quite slippery in the corners. Still, it was really good to get two starts and I am feeling really confident heading to Kegums. It is of course a lot sandier than these past few rounds but I feel like I am riding really well and I know I have done a lot of sand training this off-season. I just can’t wait to get back to the race track again and meet up with the team. We are working so well right now and I enjoy every weekend!

Brian Bogers  189

I like Kegums a lot more than the track in Russia because it is more sandy. It also means I can stay in Holland for a couple of days for training because the tracks here are quite similar to the surface in Kegums. I’m looking forward to it though and I’m really hoping I can show my potential and get myself into the top 10 in both races.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Wow. What another great weekend for Tim, and for the team to see him leave Russia with the red plate. Knowing how important it was to get good starts in both races, it was so impressive to see Tim storm off the line, especially in the second race. With the way he is riding, if he can start anywhere near the front we know he can challenge for the wins and that’s exactly what he has proved the past few rounds. Obviously Latvia will be a different challenge but confidence is high within the team and we can’t wait for Tim to line up there with the red plate on his bike. It should also be a good place for Brian to show us again what he is capable of. He hasn’t quite reached the levels we expected recently but the sandy Kegums track should be good for him.
It would have also been a good track for Calvin too but unfortunately he still needs a bit more time for the wound to heal properly and get back to being bike fit. We don’t want him to rush him right back until he is completely ready and that means that he won’t be on the gate this weekend.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 351 Team HRC – MXGP
2 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 338 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 231 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 220 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
5 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 212 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
7 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 206 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
8 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 172 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
9 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 170 Honda SR Motoblouz
10 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 168 Standing Construct KTM
11 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 167 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 129 RFX KTM Racing
13 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 117 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
14 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 103 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
15 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 100 iFly JK Racing
16 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 97 Standing Construct KTM
17 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 86 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
18 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 70 Team HRC – MXGP
19 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 69 A1M Husqvarna
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 65 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 56 Team VHR KTM Racing
22 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 41 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 33 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 HERLINGS Jeffrey 84 NDL 32 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
25 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 18 Team Honda Red Moto
27 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
28 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 14 iFly JK Racing
29 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 10 Wildcard Rider
30 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 8 Wildcard Rider

Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Perfect. Without errors. Toni Bou managed to finish the second day of the TrialGP of Japan in the most impeccable manner: without any penalty whatsoever at the Twin Ring Motegi. Repsol Honda Team companion Takahisa Fujinami occupied the third step of the podium.

Toni Bou had predicted that the Japanese event would have very low scores, but few could have predicted a perfect performance of the type that Bou pulled off. The Repsol Honda Team rider picked up no penalizations whatsoever in any of the sections, finishing off the two laps of the Motegi circuit on 0 points. It is the second time in his career that he has been able to achieve this, the previous occasion being in Portugal in 2010. This is the third consecutive victory for Toni Bou so far in this season’s TrialGP World Championship and he continues to head the general standings with 60 points, ahead of the 49-point score of the nearest second-placed rival.

Japanese rider Takahisa Fujinami, continues to perform well and today he amply demonstrated his form in several key moments of the trail, even holding second provisional place at one point. In the end, ‘Fujigas’ was back on the third step of the rostrum to the delight of the home fans. These two third place positions, allow the veteran to climb up to third spot in the general championship rankings.

The next TrialGP World Championship competition is scheduled for the Netherlands on June 22th and 23th. The trial will hold its qualifying day on Saturday and will be a single-day event.

Toni Bou  1

TRIAL: 1ST   STANDINGS: 1ST

Today we had a perfect trial in a perfect place. I’m very happy with my riding today. Having done this perfect trial here in Japan was really special. Thank all the team who have done a great job. We have prepared a lot for these first events and the results have been incredible, so I can’t be happier this weekend.

Takahisa Fujinami  6

TRIAL: 3RD  STANDINGS: 3RD

I am super happy to have been able to get on the podium on both days of racing here in Japan. Today the trial was very complicated because the zones were very simple and it was very easy to make a mistake. I didn’t start the second lap very well and there was a moment that I became a bit demoralized but with the help of the team and the fans, we battled on until the end.

Miquel Cirera

Team Manager

Today Toni Bou was extraordinary. He repeated something that is really hard to achieve: finishing without any penalty at all. In addition, he did it in Japan, the home of Honda. This is a pleasure for the whole team and also for the brand. The third place that Fujinami has clinched is very important for all too. Congratulations to the whole team for the work done this weekend. The season is very long and we will be working step by step, race by race to achieve our final goal.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 60 Repsol Honda Team
2 RAGA Adam 67 SPA 49 TRRS Factory Team
3 FUJINAMI Takahisa 6 JPN 40 Repsol Honda Team
4 FAJARDO Jeroni 2 SPA 35 Gas Gas
5 DABILL James 22 GBR 33 Beta Factory Racing
6 BUSTO Jaime 69 SPA 29 Vertigo Factory Team
7 KADLEC Franz 66 GER 28 TRRS Factory Team
8 GELABERT Miquel 9 SPA 24 Sherco Factory Team
9 BINCAZ Benoit 73 FRA 23 Beta Factory Racing
10 CASALES Jorge 33 SPA 22 Vertigo Factory Team
11 PRICE Jack 34 GBR 17 Gas Gas
12 PEACE Dan 38 GBR 9 Sherco Factory Team
13 KUROYAMA Kenichi 98 JPN 7 Yamaha Racing
14 NOGUERA Oriol 13 SPA 6 Team Jotagas
15 FARRE Arnau 19 SPA 4 Team Jotagas
16 NOZAKI Fumitaka 99 JPN 3 Yamaha Racing
17 OGAWA Tomoyuki 97 JPN 3 Honda
18 RIVA  Andrea 96 ITA 1 TRRS Factory Team

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

The Husqvarna bike brand continues to dominate the scoreboard after the weekend’s fourth of seven rounds in the 2019 New Zealand Enduro Championships in the Wairarapa.

Eketahuna rider Charlie Richardson took his Husqvarna FC250 to finish a close third overall at the event just south of Martinborough on Sunday, with a gaggle of five other Husqvarna riders following close behind him, meaning the distinctive white Husqvarna bikes filled out six of the top eight positions on the day.

Whanganui’s Seth Reardon (Yamaha) won the day, his first major victory at this level, with Manawatu’s Paul Whibley (Yamaha) claiming the runner-up spot, but the battle for manufacturers’ honours weighs heavily in favour of the popular and reliable Husqvarna bike brand. Husqvarna riders have amassed a staggering 360 competition points over the four rounds thus far, swamping the scoreboard, with riders of KTM bikes earning 289 points. Yamaha is third best on the table, with 202 points.

It’s impossible to say yet which individual might win the series outright because there have been four different winners in as many events so far this season. Helensville’s Tom Buxton (KTM) won round one of the series near Whangamata in March, Cambridge rider Dylan Yearbury (Husqvarna) clinched the win at round two near Porirua in April and Thames rider Chris Birch (KTM) topped the podium at round three near Tokoroa two weeks later, with Reardon the latest to be the day’s hero.

The stand-out riders who finished behind Reardon, Whibley and Richardson on Sunday were Stratford’s Josh Hunger (fourth on the day, Husqvarna TE300), Cambridge’s Beau Taylor (fifth, Husqvarna TE250), Christchurch’s Josh Dando (sixth, Husqvarna FX350), Rotorua’s Bradley Lauder (seventh, Husqvarna TE300) and Thames rider Jason Davis (eighth, Husqvarna FE350).

Unfortunately for Richardson, he has been able to contest only two of the four rounds thus far and is therefore down in 13th overall for the series, but such is the depth of talent in this sport in New Zealand that any rider among the top 20 or so are capable of winning on any particular day.

“I had a pretty good day on Sunday,” said Richardson. “It was extremely slippery after rain there through the previous week, but I managed to stay clean and consistent and I got there in the end. I had a shocking day at the series opener, but my result at Martinborough has pushed me up the standings a bit,” said the 21-year-olsd shepherd.

The next round of the series is closer to home for Richardson, near Masterton in three weeks’ time, on June 29.

With scores from only six of the seven rounds to be counted – riders to discard their one worst result – the race for the championship win outright, and for the various class titles too, could still go down to the wire at the double-header final weekend, rounds six and seven, at Hokitika, in Westland, in July.

Eketahuna’s Charlie Richardson (Husqvarna FC250), who is enjoying racing his bike at cross-country, enduro and motocross events as well.

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan